Yoga is helping me see the physical impact of meditation on my body. I’ve always carried a tremendous amount of tension in my shoulders. When I started meditating I could basically count on some uncomfortable gross sensation in my left shoulder and arm. For about 1.5 years my arm carried these ever-changing uncomfortable sensations until as some point they stopped and I could feel a free flow down my arm. The strange thing is that I rarely felt these sensations when I wasn’t meditating, but back to yoga.
I was introduced to yoga over 10 years ago, long before I came to meditation. I distinctly remember disliking downward dog. My shoulders and hamstrings would hurt and nothing ever seemed to improve. In the last few weeks my shoulders have really started to open up. When I try a twist, the range of motion in my shoulders is really growing. I always looked at yoga as just exercise but meditation has helped me realize how much of it is mental when it’s practiced properly. I’m naturally present with the sensations of each posture without reacting. Over time, sensations rise up and pass away, just like on the cushion.
The most amazing thing to me is that this process is impacting my physical range of motion. My old mind would think, “this hurts and is uncomfortable, I hope it ends soon.” This mental craving was only making things worse. By maintaining equanimity with each posture I’m seeing significant progress in my yoga practice. Without meditation I was missing the point of yoga. Very cool! Time to meditate.